The Process

The Process

The process of dividing up a pension subject to the Illinois Pension Code is relatively simple. As with all things, it is simple if you know it. Most people do not have the time to undertake the learning curve, and then to do the legwork to get the paperwork done, only to be left thinking whether they missed something. This is true of parties as well as attorneys. For this reason, many attorneys refer out this part of the dissolution of marriage process.

A common problem is that the process starts earlier than most anticipate, at the stage of drafting the Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA). QILDRO, INC, can help you make sure that the proper language is included in the MSA. For example, the interest in a pension can be divided as of the date of divorce, as of the date of divorce using a formula that accounts for increases after the divorce that are in part resulting from participation in the plan during the marriage, as a percentage or as a specific number.

The Steps

  1. In general, the process begins with obtaining information as to the Participant’s interest in the Plan from the Plan itself. This can be done by Subpoena for Records or with the Participant’s agreement.
  2. The next step is including the appropriate language in the Agreement (MSA) that will be incorporated into the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.
  3. Thereafter, a QILDRO is drafted.
  4. The QILDRO can and should be sent to the Plan Administrator for pre-approval.
  5. Then, a Motion for Entry of the QILDRO is prepared and sent to the other party along with a Notice of when the Motion will be presented in Court.
  6. Next is the court appearance on the Motion for Entry of QILDRO (there may be multiple court appearances).
  7. Once the Judge enters the QILDRO, a certified copy must be obtained and sent to the Plan Administrator along with a $50 processing fee and, if the member participated in the Plan prior to July 1, 1999, a Consent to Issuance of QILDRO with the Participant’s original signature.
  8. Once the Participant applies for retirement, if the QILDRO contained percentages, not definitive figures, the process has to be repeated for a QILDRO Calculation Court Order (QCO OR QCCO). This document tells the Plan exactly how much to pay the Alternate Payee. This is not known until Participant’s exact benefit is known, which is at retirement.


These are not exhaustive steps, and your situation may vary. This is intended to give you a general idea of how the process looks only.